A recent webinar presented by the League of Champions served as a showcase of the latest construction-sector health and safety protocols practised by Ontario’s leading contractors.
At the same time, organizers noted, the event reflected the contractors’ eagerness to demonstrate they are capable of working safely once the sector gets back to full operation.
The webinar was held April 23 via Zoom and represented the League’s first public presentation as an incorporated body distinct from, but still supported by, the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA). Strong links remain — Craig Lesurf of Gillam Group chairs both the OGCA Safety Committee and the League of Champions steering committee and OGCA director of government relations David Frame remains a League administrator.
“The League is here to help you with our shared best practices,” said Dan Fleming, NORCAT’s GTA manager and host of the webinar, addressing the 85 or so online participants. “If we all work together we will all get through this together and everybody will be back working safely and productively.”
Frame mentioned a hoped-for timeline in his remarks to viewers.
“It’s our full hope in the next couple of weeks to have our construction sites up and operating. That means the demand on health and safety is going to be much greater,” he said.
Presentations by Michael Mancini of Matheson Constructors, Bruno Alves of Stuart Olson, Corey Lofft of Pomerleau, Craig Sparks of Maple Reinders and Sobi Ragunathan of 4S illustrated how in less than two months constructors have risen to the challenges created by the pandemic to create sophisticated new screening methods, training modules, language, tasks, staff positions, documents, software, website portals and an array of new worksite procedures.
The workday now starts before workers hit the jobsites, Mancini said, as all employees are asked to complete daily forms online based on Ontario’s new self-assessment tool. There is also verbal screening onsite before employees are allowed to start work.
Besides the obvious health and safety reasons, Mancini explained, the information helps with Ministry of Labour tracking requirements, creates a database for the company and instils confidence in workers that they are safe.
Matheson uses self-customized spreadsheets, charts and graphs created by Google and Microsoft.
“We have had no refusals so far,” he said of worker buy-in. “Everyone is understanding.”
Alves, speaking on physical distancing, explained how contractors are constantly seeking to identify the latest protocols and fitting them into existing requirements. For example, while the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act has always required employers to comply with standards limiting employee exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents.
Stuart Olson and others are implementing guidelines contained in the Canadian Standards Association’s Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites.
Contractors should go through the established prevention hierarchy for jobsite hazards, Alves said, attempting elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment (PPE). The basic rule is, if distancing is not possible, use of PPE is ramped up.
Sparks of Maple Reinders discussed his firm’s decision to require thermal imaging as a condition of site access. Maple Reinders created a Specific Thermal Screening Procedure to implement the program, including consent forms, procedures for Thermal Scanning Areas, and designating and training operators.
Participants in the webinar noted there are varying legal opinions on thermal screening, with unions questioning whether workers’ rights are being violated. Sparks said Maple Reinders has not yet encountered resistance among its employees.
Lofft, speaking on dealing with subcontractors, said Pomerleau has created a spirit of collaboration with subs through its Committed Contractor Initiative (CCI). The program was created by the firm’s Emergency Response Team and is part of Pomerleau’s Pandemic Response Plan.
The CCI, he explained, includes standards and principles to be followed by everyone on a jobsite and is intended to ensure all contractors and trades onsite share in Pomerleau’s commitment to health and safety, “working together to protect each other.”
The response plan is being updated regularly, Lofft said, with the latest iteration delivered April 17.
The feedback from peers and trades to the measures has been highly positive, Lofft said. And, he added, “We have had multiple visits from authorities and no orders yet, thankfully.”
Vancouver museums and art galleries start reopening next week – Vancouver Sun
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The VAG will have security guards and volunteers to monitor visitors.
“If there’s a bit of a jam happening, that’s where our volunteers and guards will maybe ask people to move along, and maybe go to another floor,” said Augatis.
Staff at both institutions will be wearing masks in public areas, and it is “highly recommended” that visitors wear masks as well. But is not mandatory.
The Maritime Museum will reopen with a new show, On The Shore, featuring 44 paintings of the B.C. coast from the Bill and Mary Everett Collection, including two by works by Emily Carr and one by E.J. Hughes.
The VAG has a new exhibition culled from works in its collection, The Tin Man Was a Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics and Performances of Power. It was supposed to open in March but was delayed, as was another a new video and photographic installation, Matilda Aslizadeh’s Moly and Kassandra.
The VAG’s big summer show, Modern in the Making: Post-War Craft and Design in British Columbia, is being installed and will be opening July 18.
The Maritime Museum will be opening Thursday through Sunday, while the VAG will be open seven days a week.
“We would love to see the numbers come back to the museum, but we also anticipate that for the first few days or even weeks it might be a bit difficult,” said Schokkenbroek.
“People will be apprehensive, people will be anxious, maybe reluctant, and wait and see how things are being done.”
Vancouver marathoner inspires community through Strava art – CityNews Vancouver
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver-based runner and coach Tony Tomsich has found a way to keep running interesting during the coronavirus pandemic—Strava art.
After fulfilling a lifelong dream of running in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this spring, the Alaska native has been mapping his Sunday routes into complex works of art. Tomsich runs the routes turn-by-turn with his GPS watch and posts them to the Strava—a social media platform for athletes.
“It’s always kind of been on my radar,” Tomsich says of the idea. After years of training to qualify for the marathon trials, he didn’t have a big plan going forward.
“As the pandemic hit, it became clear that running was going to look a bit different,” adds Tomsich. “We were going to have to do this by ourselves and so forth. I definitely looked at different ways to enjoy the sport.”
Tomsich attempted an Easter bunny on Sunday, April 12th, and said his Strava feed exploded with comments after the run.
“I was just floored by the response that I got,” he says. “People absolutely loved it.”
Tomsich knew he had to keep going.
He has since drawn a boat sailing by a lighthouse, a thunderbird at UBC (the university’s mascot), and an orca. Tomsich wished people a happy Mother’s Day with a 25-kilometre-long vase of flowers.
However, the most difficult drawing was a finish line, complete with two triumphant stick-runners, which he says was meant to inspire people even as official spring races were cancelled.
“It is a way to engage and to get people excited and share what is possible when we can’t have races right now or can’t have big group gatherings.”
Tomsich uses Strava’s “Route Builder” function to map out the run. His wife, Kate, has been following him on her bike and posting Instagram video updates to build suspense around what the picture will be. Tomsich’s drawings vary from 24km to 35km, a typical Sunday run for an avid marathon.
“I asked my wife Kate to join,” he says. “It’s our time to spend together to disconnect and just be out.”
Tomsich coaches with Mile2Marathon, a running group founded by Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced runners improve their race times while engaging in the social aspects of the running.
Mile2Marathon’s motto is #bettertogether and while many of its athletes are disappointed that they can’t run in groups, Tomsich hopes to inspire runners to keep going.
“I think the bigger message that I want to be able to portray to people with all this is that if you can identify what it is that you’re passionate about or what you love, there’s always ways to share that with other people.”
New West students recreate famous works of art using their toys, household items – CTV News
A New Westminster elementary school teacher is asking her students to tap into their inner Renoirs and Emily Carrs—but instead of paint and brushes, their materials include stuffed animals, Lego and dolls.
Sara Fox, a Grade 3 and 4 Montesorri teacher at Connaught Heights Elementary School, has assigned her students to recreate famous works of art using their toys.
Fox was forced to take her instruction online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but her students’ regular art teacher was not able to continue their lessons as they’d been asked to instruct the children of essential workers. So Fox tapped into her own creativity to keep the instruction going, assigning her students to use their imaginations to put their own spins on classic works of art.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper was reimagined by Fox’s student Audrey, who replaced the glasses of wine, plates and apostles in the original with plastic cupcakes, bananas and chubby stuffed animals, including a rotund raccoon and giraffe. She titled her creation, The Squishmallow Supper.
Student Angelica recreated the iconic 1930 Grant Wood painting American Gothic using purple and grey stuffed animals. In her version, which she named Stuffie Gothic, a fork replaced the ubiquitous pitchfork from the original.
In Kai’s version of Dogs Playing Poker, the poker chips from the original painting were replaced with potato chips, and the dogs playing cards around the table are plush. Bottles of mini-yogurts stand in place of beer and whiskey, and a clock on the wall hangs in the same place as the grandfather clock from the original.
To see more of the students’ artwork, click through the images below this story.
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